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The Only Boy in the World: A Father Explores the Mysteries of Autism Paperback – 28 Jul 2006
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The Only Boy in the World is a memoir, an investigation into what makes us human, a study of aberration, and a love story. It's about all the odd ways journalist Michael Blastland's autistic son, Joe, has of seeing the world and understanding others, and what that tells the rest of us about how we also tick. Through the strange stories of Joe's scrapes and confusions, he makes luminous the routine skills by which the rest of us mostly avoid the disasters that befall him. The book strives to this understanding by combining Technicolor scenes from Joe's bizarre life, from the long catalog of his social accidents, with scientific and psychological understanding of how we normally relate to other people. Illuminating the emotional core of the book are the ways that Joe and his father relate through all the turbulence to one other.
About the Author
Michael Blastland has been a journalist for over twenty years. He is currently a radio producer and on-air presenter for the BBC's Radio 4, where his focus is the journalism of ideas. The father of two children, he lives in a small village in Hertfordshire, England.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The book was well written and certainly worth reading.
Michael Blastland's honest love for and frustration with his son are somehow comforting (misery loves company) and disturbing... is it really impossible to teach empathy? Are people with autism really less empathetic than a dog or a chimpanzee? I sincerely hope not. But please don't let me disuade those of you who have been dealing with autism for a while to not read this book...just don't read it when your child is first diagnosed or you are in for a very rough ride. Read other books that are more hopeful. Save this one for the point when you feel you have done everything possible for your child --ABA, diet, bio-meds--and you simply want more insight as to WHY he behaves as he does...you'll find it here. I wish he'd talked more about his own relationship with "Joe's mother" and given her a voice, he doesn't even tell you when/if they divorced or never married...I wanted at least a postscript from her point of view. Even so, it is fascinating reading.